10 Big Bets Presidio CEO Bob Cagnazzi Is Making In 2018

Where Presidio Is Placing Its Bets

One year after becoming a public company, solution provider powerhouse Presidio has a market capitalization of nearly $1.5 billion with big investments planned for 2018 to drive further growth.

Presidio CEO Bob Cagnazzi, whose company is ranked No. 21 on CRN's 2017 Solution Provider 500 list, has over three decades of leadership experience in the channel community. "There's definitely some macro trends and more specific opportunities that are driving the overall opportunity for the business that we're investing in this year," said Cagnazzi in an interview with CRN.

Cagnazzi talked to CRN about where New York-based Presidio is placing its bets this year to drive sales and new opportunities.

Cisco Catalyst 9000

There's an extremely large install base with Cisco and switching platforms in general who have been waiting for some compelling technology to drive a refresh cycle, and we have it now with this new platform. The Cisco 9000 platform is really gaining great acceptance within the client community. We saw a really strong ramp-up in calendar fourth quarter of 2017 and we're continuing to see that early in 2018. The acceptance of the 9000 platform and Cisco's intent-based networking is really taking hold with the client base, beyond just proofs of concept, but into projects. You'll see this refresh cycle just continue to build and be something that's persistent for the next 12 quarters or so.

Internal Staffing Investments

Within our cloud group, DevOps is an incredibly important push. Data analytics personnel as well, so the folks in the development of applications around being able to mine that data. On the security side, we're certainly investing in cybersecurity experts. Our team was formed about four years ago from a group that was in our federal business that provided those services for the federal government, either as employees or contractors -- so it's a highly skilled mentality group that we continue to add our resources to. We've developed some terrific IP and solutions around that.

Ramping Up Dell Technologies

Dell was somewhat new to us and we hadn't really had an in-depth partnership before their acquisition of EMC. So we've ramped up capabilities on the Dell product line and we've seen growth there. The VxRail hyper-converged platform has great promise. You have Nutanix, VxRail and Cisco with some really good products in the hyper-converged space, which benefits the clients because they have more options to evaluate the solution that's right for their environment. There's growth with VMware NSX, certainly the VDI [virtual desktop infrastructure] platforms – those are all showing great strength for us that we'll invest in.

Multi-Cloud Platforms

We're still in the early innings of developing multi-cloud platforms for our clients. We have seen tremendous growth in our cloud business, not just around private cloud and multi-cloud development, but certainly the Sequoia team that we brought on board a couple of years ago -- that's the thin edge of the wedge there. They go in and do high-level cloud strategy and workload assessment, helping to develop the road maps for the multi-cloud environment for a client. Helping to design and implement orchestration and automation solutions drives a lot of product from our OEMs and professional services.

Amazon Web Services And Microsoft Azure

We have strong and growing partnerships with AWS and with Azure to capture the public cloud spend side of our multi-cloud strategy. We've written a number of multiyear contracts to include Amazon and/or Azure in a solution set that we're delivering. Those clients are looking for somebody to deliver that multi-cloud platform and help them manage the entire instance of that.

Security Professional Services

From a security standpoint, we've been growing that mid-double digits – 20 percent to 30-plus percent – quarter over quarter for quite a long period of time. We're seeing great growth in our cybersecurity professional services. We'll continue to invest there. Then we're able to structure projects that will pull in our professional services and our OEM partners and create these platform-based security solutions to help clients secure their infrastructure. It's also driving great growth in our SOC [Security Operations Center].

Risk Management Portal

Our Next Gen Risk Management portal is an investment that's been proven to be extremely valuable to our clients. It helps clients -- especially board-level personnel within the clients – get a snapshot of their real-time security posture. We have a proprietary risk score that will take all the input from the current threat vectors, the latest assessments we're providing and from the latest remediation projects that the client is doing, or we're doing with them, to actively update this risk assessment or risk posture score. Our CIOs and board-level executives like to have that tool. It is everything you would get from a security assessment, plus all this other real-time data. It enables you to drill down and get all the detailed information that you would want that would typically come in that very big binder you get with a security assessment. It's all online and portal-driven, and they can be linked to our SOC. That's a continued investment that's growing extremely well for us.

Public Cloud Versus Private Cloud Versus On-Premises Investment?

It's very much a multi-cloud world. So what you would want to see is an orchestrated and automated environment where – whether it's a private or a public cloud instance – it really doesn’t matter to the user. It is just available, provisioned, managed, monitored and metered instantaneously and seamlessly for the end user. The folks who've invested on the data center side and the folks who've invested on the public cloud side, all understand this is where the world's going. When we talk to CIOs, they're almost describing a role that's very similar to what you would call a 'portfolio manager.' And the assets in this case for the CIO is the workload. These are very valuable assets. The easier you make these assets to consume, the more of them will be consumed.

Workload Management

The ability to manage a portfolio means clients can seamlessly move workloads among public-public, private-private and public-private instances. That's where we believe the world is going and how our OEM and public cloud partners see the world going. For somebody like Presidio that has experience in workload migration, public cloud and public cloud management, deep in security, and skills on the private cloud development side -- it really lends itself to the sweet spot in the marketplace where we can help create these multi-cloud solutions that give our CIO clients the ability to manage their portfolio of workloads in the most efficient manner. That's where we're heading.

Always Looking Ahead

We're always looking for new partners and technology investment to see where they can add value to the business. We typically don’t discuss them. If we feel that we can be an early adopter of bringing a certain technology to the market, then that is a competitive advantage for us.